Think back to the last time you were with a group that was making a decision. I’m going to guess that the process went something like this: a discussion occurred with everyone stating their opinion. After a while, even if it became obvious that everyone agreed, the discussion continued until someone finally said, “Hey, looks like we’re all saying the same thing…” A vote was then taken, and the decision made. How much time could have been saved, though, if the group had voted first! If everyone agreed, instead of discussing, they simply could have moved on to other matters. In services, this type of ‘overprocessing’ waste is often seen in discussions and also in the layers of approvals many processes have. So, next time your group needs to make a decision, try deciding first..then discuss only if necessary! (Special thanks to J.B. Tomlin for teaching this to all of us!)

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